Riding for Horses Newsletter

Posted: 6/3/2010, 22:37

We are writing this letter from the Limpopo province after being in the Eastern Cape for the last 4 weeks.
We came down to the E.C. to swop horses. The plan was to drive back to the Limpopo River after 10 days and carry on with the ride. Since arriving we had a few obstacle to sort out before we could even think of driving back.
Our 13 horses from Fishriver Horse Safaris were being looked after by someone in this area. We noticed immediately that
they were not in the condition we are used to and not being given the care that we want them to have.  We had to find a new
home for them urgently. This took some time as this part of the Eastern Cape is struggling with a severe drought, water and
grazing is scarce. After 2 weeks of searching a friend offered us his farm with decent pasture and space for the horses.
We spent a few days building a temporary working paddock and put in place a new routine with new help.

Whilst here we took a 5 hour drive to the Haven Horse Safaris on the Wildcoast to check on our horses and business.
Our horses run free and roam the hotel grounds at times causing some damage to the hotel facilities. We spent a few days
to build a perimeter fence to keep the horses away from the hotel grounds. During this time my guide/manager resigned
unexpectedly after 3 years. Now we are in the process of searching and interviewing for a new guide. 3 days ago we found
a replacement guide and manager for the Haven Horse Safaris. A relief to know our horses and the business is in good hands.  

Isabel, being German and here on a volunteer visa, which was due to expire, had to make an application for an extension.
We have driven backwards and forwards to Port Elizabeth 2 hours away to go through the process of applying for a visa
This process requires patience, paperwork, doctors physical examinations, chest X-RAYS, interviews, etc etc.... Funny that
when we passed Beitbridge border post between Zimbabwe and South Africa we were told that 2000 Zimbabweans cross the border daily and can easly get work permits...... 3 Weeks later, Isabel's visa came through!!  

The past 4 weeks has given us good opportunity to choose the best suitable horses for the next stretch from Stockpoort
border post on the Limpopo river to the Western Cape border on the West Coast. We have chosen Roan and Himba. Roan was one of Lloyd's lead horses from Fishriver Horse Safaris and Himba one of the backup guide horses. Lloyd will be riding Roan and Isabel Himba. They are both reliable, keen and forward moving horses. We are working with them and exercising them daily. Fever and Tarwood are being looked after by friends on the Limpopo river at our last resting place. The last we heard there has been fair rain in this area and Fever and Tarwood enjoy mud rolling daily to cool themselves down.

In hind sight being down here for the past 4 weeks has been a blessing. We have been able to sort out a few major issues.
If it was not for Ballantyne's biliary we would only have arrived here end of February. At least we are avoiding the hottest
month of the year along the Limpopo river which is better for the horses and us. We are currently trying to raise funds for
Riding for Horses to keep us on the road. Money is tight everywhere.. Trinity Asset Management has been kind enough to
sponsor us for the month of March. If anyone is interested in sponsoring us a month in exchange for advertising space on our website please email us on:

4 weeks closer to winter and we were both very keen to get back in the saddle..
We took a slow drive over 3 days back to the Limpopo 1500 km's away.
We were very excited to see Fever and Tarwood and to start working with Himba and Roan.
To start with we will take things slow to get the new horses used to the heat and the work. Until then keep watching our

Regarding African Horse Sickness:
Please report all confirmed and suspected cases of African Horse Sickness to the African Horse Sickness Trust.
Chairman Douglas Welsh 082 9654082
By for now.

Lloyd and Isabel


Special thanks to Paul, Jane, the boys and Zack Cowley and Warren, Amber and Mischief Potts for being such good friends!!
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